Many of you, friends and readers, probably don’t know what Dacia is. It’s a Romanian company established in 1966 and sold to Renault by the local government in 1999. With the arrival of the French company, Dacia quickly became the leading brand in Europe’s affordable car segment. Today, the marque has a range of successful sedans, hatchbacks, and SUVs, together with the cheapest electric vehicle on the Old continent. One of the latest new additions to the Dacia family is its new design boss.
Miles Nurnberger joined the Romanian company last summer after more than 14 years at Aston Martin. He was responsible for the design of the DBX and Valkyrie, two of the British firm’s most impressive vehicles in recent years. What were Nurnberger’s motives to leave an exotic automaker and move to a budget brand? A new interview with TopGear shines more light on his philosophy.
Gallery: 2022 Dacia Duster facelift
Nurnberger currently reports to Laurens van den Acker, who is Renault Group’s design chief. The two have a history together as they were both working for Ford in the early 2000s. When Acker called Nurnberger with an offer to join Dacia, “it happened quite quickly.” Just a couple of months into his new job, Nurnberger is already a huge fan of Dacia’s products. And in his eyes, the Duster is the company’s central pillar.
“This will be a great sentence – the Duster is Dacia’s 911,” he told the British publication. “The spirit, the attainability, the robustness – everything about Dacia is there and fully amplified in the Duster. Designing for the masses has its own pleasure too because you see your cars on the street, you see them being used and you might own one yourself. That was obviously harder at Aston.”
For the uninitiated, the Duster is Dacia’s sport utility vehicle which was recently refreshed and received a dual-clutch transmission and a new infotainment system. It’s a simple, robust, and practical car with an available version running on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from the factory and an optional all-wheel drive. Just like the 911, right?